Philly City workers will be given a five-day office mandate

In order for the office market to recover from recent years, landlords will need a lot of help, especially from the government. In Philadelphia, office owners are about to receive just that.

Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle Parker announced Monday that all city employees would have to return to work on-site five days a week, the Inquirer reported. The shift for city employees will begin in two months, on July 15.

The move comes after Muriel Bowser of the District of Columbia and Eric Adams of New York clashed with labor groups over their calls for city workers to return to the office most if not all days of the week. Adams softened his position last year to allow hybrid work two days a week, while Bowser ordered city employees back four days a week earlier this year.

Former Mayor Jim Kenney previously brought city employees back to the office for at least two days a week, starting after vaccines became available in 2021. But individual departments were left to enforce the policy, making it easy for many to talk their way out. of regular office visits.

As Parker calls city workers back to the office, the administration increases paid parental leave and Black Friday becomes an official holiday.

At least one municipal union, AFSCME’s District Council 47, opposes the mandate, arguing it could lead to the departure of municipal city workers at a time when there is already a shortage.

While many employees will likely grumble at being forced to return to the office, landlords are unlikely to be among that group. Occupancy and attendance play a big role in how office buildings are valued, so the return of the city’s 25,000 employees to the workplace could prove to be a major problem.

It will also likely benefit retailers, as booths will lead to people visiting businesses in business districts, especially those that cater to the lunch crowd. In office-dependent neighborhoods like Center City, pedestrian traffic has not yet recovered to pre-pandemic levels, so this may offer the best opportunities yet.

Kastle Systems’ Back-to-Work Barometer, an oft-cited indicator of office occupancy, finds that the average office occupancy in Philadelphia for the week of May 8 was 41.1 percent, ranking second among ten markets who monitors the tracker. collecting card moves.

Holden Walter Warner

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